A good time, not a long time
We’ve got an emergency with our lift, a fault has caused it to stop and people are trapped inside. The only fix is to deactivate the lift from inside the lift shaft. Are you and your team ready to risk your lives to deactivate it before it comes crashing down?
Whenever we hear about an escape room company opening in Brighton it immediately gets our attention, mostly thanks to the stellar reputation of Brighton favourites, Bewilderbox and Pier Pressure. As fate would have it we were in town for a conference so we made sure to visit Pier Pressure again to play their newest game The Smuggler’s Secret, but also walked a little bit further from the beach to check out a new company, The Lift Escape Rooms.
It’s worth noting that at the time of writing this review, The Lift only have games which are less than 60 minute games. We played The Lift Shaft and that was a 35 minute game. It looks like they have plans to open more games and could move to the 60 min structure, but for now, they are shorter experiences.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Brighton, or it was until we started our walk to the venue and then the heavens opened – typical. It was easy enough to find the entrance as there aren’t too many shipping containers in the area. This is technically a pop-up venue but as the site got a stay of execution it sounds like The Lift may be around a bit longer than initially planned.
When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by our hosts (and the owners) Sam and Maria. They showed us to the waiting area which is downstairs, and I believe also the location of their other game ‘The Case’.
After a lovely chat it was time to get down to business, after all we were hired to fix a dodgy lift shaft. Maria gave us a health and safety briefing in reception, and then covered a bit of our mission too. After this, Sam escorted us up the stairs to the entrance to the lift shaft, where suitable health and safety attire (or costumes if you will) was ready and waiting for us.
With our safety gear on, we entered the lift shaft where Sam gave a more detailed briefing of our mission and what was going on. Before we knew it, our timer started and we had 35 minutes to get things fixed before the lift came crashing down on our heads – why do we put ourselves in these situations?!
Just in case I haven’t said it enough already, this game was created to be both a pop-up and a 35 minute game so don’t play it expecting extremely high set design. Saying that, they had put some effort into it and although I haven’t been in many lift shafts, I think this game had a suitably industrial feel about it – think ‘Danger’ tape, low lighting, and lots of metal.
The team at The Lift were quite clever here with their choice of theme. If you’ve only got a small, essentially vertical shipping container you would probably struggle to make it convincing that you’re on a pirate ship, but a lift shaft? Yep, actually quite convincing.
The lift shaft was a small space but strangely bigger than what I was expecting and as a team of two we had plenty of space, even a team of four wouldn’t be on top of each other. With ambient music/noises being played at all times, it added to the immersion and felt a world away from the busy road (and crappy weather) outside. .
To reiterate – 35 min game + pop up, so don’t expect oodles of puzzles. Saying that, they managed to cram in a number of puzzles from varying styles so it would be a nice intro room to what escape rooms are about.
Puzzles generally fitted around the following tropes; searching (minor), observation, logic, maths (simple), and a more dexterous puzzle type.
A little bit of tech was used to keep you on your toes but mostly the puzzles resulted in combinations for padlocks. We found the puzzles to generally be fair and made sense in the context of the game, although one puzzle felt a little weak to us but I’d imagine that other less experienced teams would probably get it right away. We do have a habit of over complicating puzzles or just making up our own puzzles from random things in the room.
It’s probably quite obvious, but we’re not qualified lift shaft engineers so it was good to know that the site supervisor was on call should we need him. If we needed help (and we did), all we had to do was press a button in the room or just wave around like mad people – we opted for the latter.
Clues were audio based and came over an intercom system in the room. As I said, we needed help, I think on two occasions. A couple of puzzles didn’t click with us but also we did have a beer before the game so maybe that was our downfall?
Help came quickly from the supervisor and were cryptic enough to get us back on track without just fully giving us the solution.
If you’re looking for a hardcore puzzling session in Brighton, this probably isn’t the game for you. However, if you’re looking for a space filler, a warm up, or an introduction to escape rooms, then this certainly would fit the bill.
It’s games like this that make us think we need to add a new way of ranking to Review the Room. If you compare this game to Tulleys for example, then really there’s no comparison. But if you consider this to be a different type of game, a game that is cheaper and quicker than regular 60 minute games, then it does exactly what it says on the tin. Ranking games is hard, which is why we urge people to read our words and not just focus on a score as a game is much more than a number. Is our score fair? If you play it, please let us know! We used a complex algorithm (well not really, but it is excel with formulas and stuff) and we discuss each game in great length to come up with a fair score.
We’ve played many 60 minute games that were more expensive and much worse than The Lift, so don’t let the shorter game time put you off.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 21:19mins
Address: Unit 7, 10 New England Rd, Brighton, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 4GG
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review